Magic: The Gathering’s ‘Planechase’ mechanic returns in March of the Machine

A fan-favorite multiplayer mechanic returns!

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PLANECHASE – A fan-favorite mechanic that was not seen more than 10 years ago makes a fitting return in Magic: The Gathering’s latest set, March of the Machine!

As the latest expansion sees the story fight multiple battles across different planes in MTG’s multiverse, it is only natural that they include a variant that spices things up and adds another layer of strategy to the table. After all, the whole idea of Magic: The Gathering is there are two (or more) Planeswalkers battling it out in a location rich in mana resource and environmental shenanigans – and Planechase gives you the chance to experience that thematic side of the game!

Check out the latest video from Gavin Verhey, where he goes in detail on what to expect for the latest batch of EDH commander precons for March of the Machine. The set looks to be a more special set compared to their previous releases, for reasons you will see below:



Here’s a brief introduction to the mechanic from Wizards of the Coast, explaining the rules a bit more deeper using Jund, a shard location found in Alara’s plane.

Each of these is a specific place on a plane. For example, this one is Jund, on the plane of Alara. They pretty much all have a static ability of some kind, like an enchantment that impacts everybody, and it’s really tied into the plane. For example, here on Jund—the green, black, and red piece of Alara that brought us the devour mechanic— everyone’s green, black, and red creatures are granted devour. Yeah, I’d say that’s pretty fitting for Jund!

Notably, Jund is not the best place to be if you’re a blue-white deck. There are only green, black, and red bonuses. What gives? Well, like a Planeswalker, you can always switch planes, and therein lies the fun of Planechase.

Everybody brings their own deck of ten planes to the table, and you shuffle them as the game begins. (As an optional house rule, many people elect to shuffle all those planes together for the game—up to you and your group if you want to do that.) The first player reveals the starting plane from their deck. Then, whenever you planeswalk, you replace the current plane with the top one from your planar deck. So maybe Jund turns into…


Ahh, much better for the blue-white player! Now, how do you planeswalk? Well, it’s going to take a little more than just tapping your shoes together and whispering “Esper” a few times. You use . . . drumroll please . . . the planar die!

Now, this is a very unusual die. Four of the six spots are blank. One of them has the Planeswalker symbol, and another has that weird Chaos symbol.

Chaos symbol in Planechase

The Planechase chaos symbol

During your turn, as a sorcery (so in the main phase when the stack is empty) you can roll the planar die. If it rolls on the Planeswalker symbol, you planeswalk to the next plane!

If it rolls on that other symbol, we call that the chaos symbol! Each plane has an effect that happens when chaos ensues. It could be simple, or it could be more elaborate. Often it ties into the first ability. For example, Jund gives you some Goblins to devour, and Towashi gives you counters to modify your creatures! Rolling to try and hit chaos can be a big boon, but you never know, because you might end up going to some other less desirable plane.

What if you want to roll more than once in a turn? Well, your first roll each turn is free. Each roll you want to make beyond that in a turn costs one additional mana. So, one mana for your second roll, two mana for your third roll, and so on. If you really need to escape a plane, you can roll a bunch and make it happen!



During the course of your planeswalking adventures, you might come across Phenomenon cards. These are one-time effects that immediately take effect once it appears, after which it gets discarded and makes you draw another Planechase card. These effects vary like this Spatial Merging card you see above, which can prove either beneficial or detrimental to the players as you reveal two new plane cards to where you are then transported to!

Upping your game with the Eternities Map

For those who wants to take there planeswalking to the next level, you might want to check out the Eternities Map variant of the rules. This gives the player a degree of decision making in terms of where they want to relocate next, or just simply move out of a plane that’s unfavorable.

A detailed video from The Professor explains the Eternities Map:

Image: Wizards of the Coast

Are you ready to dive through all that planechase goodness that March of the Machine will offer? Each of the five new preconstructed decks will have 5 new planechase cards, 4 plane cards that are reprints, and 1 phenomenon card.


New, different-themed planechase D6’s included in each themed EDH precons!

Image: Wizards of the Coast

While you can use your own D6’s for your multivere traversals, what better way to planeswalker in style than with these cool planechase dice! One is included with each precon, varying in style depending on the theme chosen.

What D6 do you like in the image above? Personally I dig that Phyrexian white/red die and the skyblue/yellow one, which reminds me of the original, chunky planar die that was included in Planechase Anthology.


Image: Wizards of the Coast

‘March of the Machine’ Pre-release and official release date:

Pre-release events will start of from April 14 to April 20, with an official release at your friendly local games stores on April 21.

‘March of the Machine’ will be available in the regular 16-card Draft Boosters, Set Boosters, Collector Boosters, 5 Commander Decks that feature a unique “Planechase” cards that adds new locations to the popular variant.

Additionally, along with welcome packs, Jumpstart boosters for March of the Machine will also be available as their way of easing the entry to newer players.

As paper Magic is coming back into full swing, it is greatly encouraged to head out to your FLGS. You can use this handy store locator to find a place that handles Magic: The Gathering near you, observing health protocols, of course.

Related Links:

Magic: The Gathering store locator

What Is Planechase, and Why Is It Awesome?

Magic: The Gathering ‘March of the Machine’ card preview – Omen Hawker

5 ways to ignite that spark and get started playing Magic: The Gathering

The 5 best Magic: The Gathering products from 2022

5 reasons why Jumpstart 2022 is one of the best-designed formats for Magic: The Gathering